United we
stand?

Photo of Richard Hoggart, managing director of DSG Financial Services Over the past
20 years of being a broker in point of sale motor finance, the one
constant has been competition with our peers.

It seems that it is the only
thing that gets more intense year on year.

I believe the main reason for
this is that we brokers are getting better at what we do, and that
both dealers and funders appreciate the role we have to play more
than ever.

So maybe it’s time to divert
a little of our energy away from competing and channel it into
cooperating for our greater good.

This magazine recently
covered the content of the Frontline Broker conference which was
held in September.

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By GlobalData

One topic discussed briefly
was the idea of retail finance brokers forming an association to
promote us as a recognised body in the consumer credit
industry.

I for one think this is a
very positive idea. I know that I am not the only one.

Brokers don’t need to be
cuddled or wrapped in cotton wool – we have had a tough enough time
over the past few years to be fully resilient to what the industry
can throw at us. However, I think we could all benefit from the
sense of belonging that could come from a formal
association.

First and foremost, we must
define who we are. DSG, and many more like us, are here to support
the motor dealer community.

We provide facilities to aid
point of sale finance for retail customers buying from
dealers.

We are not contract hire or
personal leasing brokers going direct to the market.

That is a clear distinction
that needs to be made, and we should avoid being connected to that
sector which is so wholly different to ours.

There is currently no body
that specifically supports our needs or concerns.

Not only would an association
improve our collective standing with both dealers and lenders, but
it would give us a platform for professional development,
legislative issues, industry standards and perhaps just an
opportunity to get together to talk about our future prospects and
ideas.

An association can create a
legitimacy that is difficult for organisations to develop on their
own, while potentially improving negotiating power with key
industry suppliers such as IT providers, data providers, law firms
etc.

I trust this publication is
read by both brokers and funders alike and, as such, a show of
support for this idea would be very welcome.

If you are a LinkedIn member,
please show your support by joining the group, Association of
Consumer Motor Finance Brokers.

With enough support we can
get this project moving in 2011 – or we brokers can just keep
battling each other while others dictate our future.

Richard Hoggart is
managing director of DSG Financial Services